Farewell London...we'll miss you!

The time has come! The car is packed and we're ready to go! It's all come round so quickly and inevitably we have recently been thinking about the things that we might miss when we're in France. Family and friends go without saying. We've managed to see most of them before leaving and our door in France will always be open to them for visits. I was born and raised in London and Andrew has lived here since the age of 10, so there are lots of things that we will miss about the Capital and we have managed to narrow it down to our top 5.

1. Public Transport
On the train to London
We haven't had a car for the past 2 years so public transport plays a large part in our lives as it gets us everywhere. Reuben has developed a love of trains and Jacob is fast following in his footsteps (though he also points out every bus, plane, motorbike and emergency vehicle.) There is a bus stop in our French village, but in all my years of going to France I've probably seen the bus about twice. But let's be honest, I think the main reason we'll miss it is because now if we decide to have a night out, one of us is going to have to be the 'designated driver.' No more jumping on the night bus or making sure we get the last train home. Though let's be even more honest, when was the last time we actually had a night out?!

2. The Southbank
Waterloo station...the Royal Festival Hall...walking by the Thames...going to the Southbank has become a regular outing for us since having children. The boys love watching the boats on the river, the Royal Festival Hall is a great place for kids to run wild and they often have free events/workshops/music. The regular food market is deliciously tempting and we would always make a trip down for the Christmas market in December. You can sit and watch the skater boys under the hall, the kids can play in the Jubilee Garden playground, or you can sit and tourist watch till the sun goes down!

3. Children's Playgrounds
I spend my life, when the weather permits, at playgrounds (although not too long ago we did go in the rain...'we're swinging in the rain!') The boys love the swings, climbing up the slides and pushing each other on the roundabouts. When we venture out to the bigger parks we feed the ducks, watch boats sailing, and visit the animals in the farms. London parks are great, like corner shops (see below) there is almost one on every corner. I know of 2 near our village in France. Only one has swings, no roundabouts, they both favour the climbing frames. The up side is that there will be so many more varied outside activities that we will be able to do with the boys, they wont have time to miss swinging in the rain!

4. Corner Shops
Some of my earliest memories are of our corner shop in North West London. I remember going there as a child to get my penny sweets. It was the first place I was allowed to go to on my own as there were no roads to cross. It was owned by Mr Singh and his family and when I was little it became my dream to be a shop owner...because people gave you money! There is no denying the convenience of corner shops, the amount of times we've had to make that trip early morning/late at night for milk/bread/toilet roll. There is a shop in the village we will be living in, but it is closed on Mondays, and at lunchtime, and public holidays, and it's contents are limited (and I've just heard a rumour it's closed for good.) I'm so used to walking to get what I need I think it may take time to adjust to getting in a car and a 20 min drive to the nearest shop.

5. Our Hairdressers
Time for a haircut!
I've been going to the same hairdresser for about 15 years. I am so particular about how my hair is cut the idea of going to someone different terrifies me. Andrew spent years (with a few dodgy haircuts along the way) trying to find the right barbers and is happy with the one he currently goes to, as is Reuben as he gets free lollipops. Cutting Reuben's hair is another story however. He hates it, and we're currently fighting a battle with him to get it done. We've tried various kids hairdressers, he's sat in front of fish a tank, in a mini cooper, whilst watching Peppa Pig, whilst eating a lollipop (not recommended he ended up sucking hair!) Maybe he'll find his perfect hairdresser in France?!

So there it is! The top five things we'll miss about London. With family and friends still here and France only a few hours away we'll be back...for a ride on the swing...for a walk by the Thames...to get our hair cut..!

What would you miss about your hometown if you were to move abroad? Are you already living in another country? Is there anything you long to return home for? We'd love to hear from you!

Becky x

1 comment

  1. Aww Becky, I am so excited for you and proud of you for having the courage to do this. You will gain so much more than you lose... Let me start a list about all that is great about rural France... 1. Those wide and short backpacks children have for school 2. You will have a local baker... Yum! 3. Your kids won't be such consumers confronted with shop windows all the time 4. Peace and quiet 5. Gorgeous countryside 6. Regional cooking 7. Great education and healthcare 8. Why is this number 8... PETANQUE!!!! I could carry on! Keep blogging, I love every post and can't wait to follow your adventures. Bon voyage!!


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